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Dear Newcastle United…

8 years ago

Dear Newcastle United,

My first proper memory of going to one of your games was when I was a ten year old boy.

I had been to many matches before but this one was different, this was Kevin Keegan’s first game, I queued with my dad and cousin outside the Gallowgate end from about 10:30 to make sure we got into the ground.

There was a massive crush when the turnstiles opened and people were surging forward, my dad at one point suggested that we might have to not go in as it was getting too dangerous , but he knew when he looked at my face that it was something he just couldn’t do to me.

He held the force of what felt like 20,000 fans back and made sure we got into the ground. When we got in the ground he sat me on the concrete barriers and stood behind me. Then after a couple more hours waiting it happened. The hit came, this would be the moment it got its claws into me and would become an addiction that I could never shake off…..

The noise as the team ran out , the noise as Keegan took to the field , I had heard the expression about the hairs on the back of your neck standing up , but never knew what it meant…. Now I did though, the pure emotion nearly made me cry, that was it – that was now my new religion.

The church of Newcastle United FC…… Then Keegan scored. I had never seen anything like it in my life…. This was great ….. This was a memory I will never forget……

Now 30 years later and most home games attended and a healthy number of away games per season plus European trips, taking my kids like my dad took me, lots of ups and downs , and a lot lighter bank balance, I can honestly say I have never felt so distant from the love of my life. I am on the verge of … Dare I say it…. Not renewing my vows…. But why????

I have seen us perform much worse than this , I have been to games where we only had 15,000 at St James on a pi**y cold midweek night, I have travelled 12 hours by coach to Plymouth to watch a boring draw, I have had people pi** up my leg standing in a freezing cold Gallowgate end with no roof whilst watching the East Stand fans sipping from their flasks laughing at me, so why when the club is allegedly so secure financially, and is still in the top division, do I feel like this?

It could be worse I hear you say, why are you fickle I also hear, why are you turning on the manager etc etc blah blab blah.

The thing is I am starting to dislike, bordering on hating, a lot of things about this club.

The owner, the regime , the lack of passion, heart, the lack of atmosphere.

So this I suppose may be me saying I could be on the verge of a trial separation.

Times have moved on and things have changed, that’s life , when the going gets tough the tough get going , or so they say, unfortunately it seems very tough to keep going at the moment.

To whoever owns the club now or in the future, you can rip the heart and soul out of my club but you will never take away the memories I have of this once great club. I don’t want these memories to be sullied though so on that note ……..

I still love you Newcastle United but I think that this relationship is becoming unfair on both of us. I can’t love you as much as I used to and your coldness towards me is making the situation worse.

I might have to take a bit of time away, I hope you understand

All my love

Gavin Peterson


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